“During my lessons I tend to look at the clock frequently, as I want to stick to the timing of my lesson plan. Will students just interpret this as me just wanting to get the lesson over and done with?”

There is nothing more discouraging for students than seeing their teacher with a desperate expression glancing at the clock on the wall to see what time it is. This gives two messages to your students:

  • the teacher is either more bored than I am or is in a total panic
  • the teacher clearly hasn’t planned what they are doing and are desperately trying to conjure up ways to fill up the time before the lesson ends

If you do look at the clock it should be accompanied by an explanation such as: OK, we’ve got ten minutes to do the final exercise or OK, we don’t really have time to finish this exercise, you can do it for homework, now let’s just summarize what we have learned today.

When you are being observed by another teacher, it pays to have a lesson plan that sticks to certain time allocations. However in everyday teaching you don’t need to become obsessed with getting all your timing spot on. If you don’t manage to do everything you wanted to do, then no problem – it’s not like you distributed your lesson plan to all your students. The important thing is that there is a sense of structure to what you are doing and there is some kind of wind down before the lesson ends.


Adrian Wallwork

Categories: Methodology